"'Education is the Science of Relations'; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of––
'Those first-born affinities,
That fit our new existence to existing things.'"

Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education
with a quote from The Prelude by William Wordsworth

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Free Computer Resources

We homeschool together, all in one room.  When I am working with one son I shcedule something the other two can work on independently, which can be challenging with kids in 2nd, 4th, and 6th grades.  This time is split into 3 categories:  reading, writing, and computer time. While I have purchased some great computer-based learning programs, like ExploreLearning and Adaptive Curriculum, I found a couple of great free websites as well.

The first is The Head of the Class. This website has activities for grades K through 5th.  After I logged in I went to the control panel and clicked on "Customize Curricula" to set up the activities I wanted for Ds#2 and Ds#3.  I choose only the interactive activities and not the worksheets that have to be printed out, so this website has many more resources available than what I use.  They even have a book for each grade.

The second is Brain Nook. This one is more play than learning, but the kids really enjoy it.  They create basic characters and travel through different regions of the globe.  They can interact with other people but at the basic level they can only "say" what is on a list of responses (premium members can type whatever they want, which is one of many reason we are not premium members.)  Often my kids will call their friends and log on at the same time while talking together on the telephone.  To earn points they have to play math and language arts challenges.  Once a week you are emailed a progress report that tells you how many challenges they played, what level they played at, and the breakdown of math to language arts.


UPDATE (6/14):  We dropped BrainNook because it turned out to be too much play and not enough skill building.

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